Biomass energy solutions will substitute huge amounts of fossil fuels to fulfill the energy demands of the future. It will have a similar role to other renewable energy solutions like solar energy systems which will help replace fossil fuels. The products can be produced from virtually any organic material, such as from weeds and grass to agricultural waste and municipal solid waste.
Biomass Briquettes for Green Electricity
The biomass materials are greatly pressurized, making a solid brick or disk of biomass that provides a substantial degree of heat. Briquette is an ideal fuel because it is eco-friendly and renewable energy fuel. In addition cost-effective and less expensive than other solid fuels like coal and wood. It has a higher thermal calorific value which is approximately 4000 Kcal/Kg.
Briquette is also pollution free since there is no sulfur or any hazardous materials. There isn’t any fly ash when burnt, contain high density and higher fix carbon value. Combustion is much more uniform when compared with other fuels. Biomass briquettes could be an excellent market because of the rise in price of fossil fuel.
The biomass briquettes benefits over coal could be as follows;
- Easy handling, packing and transportation of briquettes can be made in any conventional length and diameter.
- Low ash content below 10% in comparison to coal 25 to 40% resulting in less boiler ash disposal problems.
- Regular supplies of briquettes do not suffer from transportation bottle necks as the plant can be set up near raw areas.
- There will be no corrosion effect on boiler equipment resulting in negligible maintenance cost. Coal on the other hand produces sulfur dioxide, when on mixing with moisture produces sulfuric acid a corrosive acid.
- It has low ignition point, when compared to coal.
- It gives sustainable combustion and more efficient combustion than loose agro wastes.
- It is a clean fuel.
- No gas and effluents like coal. So no health hazards.
- Easy handling compared to loose husk and fire wood. Can be mixed with coal and fire wood of inferior quality which improves burning.
- Briquettes are cheaper than coal.
- High sulfur content of oil and coal, when burnt, pollutes the environment. There is no sulfur in briquettes. Biomass briquettes have a higher practical thermal value and much lower ash content 2-10% compared to 20-40% in coal.
- There is no fly ash in burning briquettes.
- Briquettes have a consistent quality, have high burning efficiency are ideally sized for complete combustion. Combustion is more uniform compared to coal and boiler response to change in steam requirements is faster due to higher quantity of volatile matter in briquettes.
- Briquettes are usually produced near the consumption centers and supplies don’t depend on erratic transport from long distances
Co-firing in Power Plant for Green Energy Production
Co-firing power plants generally refer to coal power plants that burn solid biomass, wood, agricultural waste etc., along with coal. Additionally, it can also refer to plants designed to use a mixture of natural gas and biogas. Due to the fact burning biomass is carbon neutral; co-firing cuts down on the level of greenhouse gases that are released. Furthermore, co-firing is known to lower the emission of some pollutants. For instance, co-firing biomass along with coal leads to less sulfur emissions than burning coal by itself. The benefit of co-firing is that it can be done in present power plants with little or no customization, permitting relatively inexpensive and rapid reductions in greenhouse gases.
There are basically three types of coal co-firing.
- The first one is direct co-firing which is the simplest, cheapest and most common form. Biomass fuel and coal are burned together in the same furnace, using the same or separate mills and burners depending on the biomass fuel characteristics.
- The second one is the indirect co-firing. Indirect co-firing is a biomass gasifier that can be used to convert solid biomass into a clean fuel gas form and can be burned in the same furnace as coal. The advantages of indirect co-firing are that a wider range of biomass fuels can be used and impurities can be removed from the fuel gas before it is burned. However, only a few plants of this kind are in use.
- The third one is completely separate biomass boilers
For further reference for co-firing please read this brochure from the Federal Technology Alert
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